NIGERIA, no doubt, is in dire economic and political crossroads. The government of the day, under President Muhammadu Buhari, has come out with policies and programmes it thinks would get us out of the woods. But Nigerians have been complaining about his economic agenda that has failed to give the citizens a new lease of life in nearly one year of the government.
Overall, majority of Nigerians wants things to get better. But Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere, a chartered accountant and MD/CEO of Best Foods, is one Nigerian that wants things to get better fast. He, however, insists there must be a radical departure from our old culture of visionless and profligate government to a more prudent, transparent, focused, and people oriented one.
For a start, he argues, there must be a shift from over dependence on oil to a more diversified economy where agribusiness would play greater role.The former President of Institute of Directors (IOD) and one time Chairman of Longman Publishing says the sliding priceof oil in international market is blessing in disguise and an answer to his decades of prayer to God. He wishes the price would further drop to as low as $5 per barrel from the present $28-$30 stretch. His words: ‘’First of all, I am the wrong person to talk about oil price fluctuations. You know why? For a long time, as an individual, I have been praying that oil price should come down. I am even praying that it should come further down than what it is now, to as low as $22 or$18 per barrel because that would bring sanity to us in Nigeria.We would now start taking what is important seriously.
Agriculture should betaken seriously. How many jobs has oil provided for Nigerians? Very little job. But how much corruption has it provided? It has provided almost 90 percent of the corruption in the country. May the price come down to $5 per barrel, Amen.’’ Mr. Ijewere spoke on other challenges facing Nigeria in this interview with Daily Sun recently in his Lagos office.